Journalism in the Public Interest

This Year, Contractor Deaths Exceed Military Ones in Iraq and Afghanistan

More than 250 civilian contractors have died in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first half of 2010, while 235 soldiers died in the same period, the first time contractor deaths have exceeded military ones.


A civilian contractor throws up a bag of candy to an Army gunner in Camp Liberty, Iraq, on Christmas Day, 2008. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Benjamin Crane, MND-B PAO)

More private contractors than soldiers were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months, the first time in history that corporate casualties have outweighed military losses on America’s battlefields.

More than 250 civilians working under U.S. contracts died in the war zones between January and June 2010, according to a ProPublica analysis of the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Labor, which tracks contractor deaths. In the same period, 235 soldiers died, according to Pentagon figures.

This milestone in the privatization of modern U.S. warfare reflects both the drawdown in military forces in Iraq and the central role of contractors in providing logistics support to local armies and police forces, contracting and military experts said.

Steven Schooner, a professor of government contracting at George Washington University Law School, said that the contractor deaths show how the risks of war have increasingly been absorbed by the private sector. Private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan provide fuel, food and protective services to U.S. outposts — jobs once performed by soldiers.

“It’s extremely likely that a generation ago, each one of these contractors deaths would have been a military death,” Schooner said. “As troop deaths have fallen, contractor deaths have risen. It's not a pretty picture.”

Schooner, who conducted a recent study of contractor fatalities published in Service Contractor (PDF), an industry newsletter, said contractors now make up more than 25 percent of total deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan — a proportion that has grown steadily throughout the conflicts. Official figures show that 5,531 troops and 2,008 civilian contract workers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan between the beginning of hostilities in 2001 and June 2010.

Many working under U.S. contracts are local civilians, often working as translators for troops, or are hired from third world countries to do basic labor, such as cleaning kitchens and toilets.

Previous ProPublica stories have noted that companies employing such workers often fail to report their deaths and injuries to the Labor Department, as required by law. Government figures likely understate the total number civilian contractor deaths.

Click to see how frequently the banks turned to their best customers -- their own CDOs.

Click to see the number of U.S. government private contract worker deaths and injuries from Sept. 1, 2001 through June 30, 2010.

The rising fatalities have received little public attention, concealing the full human cost of the war, Schooner said. When President Obama spoke of troop deaths in Afghanistan earlier this month, he made no mention of fatalities among the private workforce that feeds and fuels U.S. forces.

“I'm not accusing either the Bush or the Obama administration of intentionally deceiving the public,” Schooner said. “But when a president applauds a reduction in military deaths but fails to acknowledge the contractor personnel now dying in their place, someone isn't telling the whole story.”

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the most privatized in American military history. Today, there are 150,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. As of March 2010, there were more than 200,000 private contractors, though that number is believed to have declined with the drawdown of U.S. forces.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a plan last month to sharply reduce the number of contractors, saying the Pentagon has become overly dependent on private workers to carry out jobs once done by soldiers.

A recent Congressional Research Service report (PDF) found that the heavy use of contractors had exposed troops to supply shortfalls, wasted taxpayer money, and stirred anger among locals. In several high-profile incidents, heavily armed private security contractors have killed unarmed Iraqi and Afghan civilians.

“Some analysts believe that poor contract management has also played a role in abuses and crimes committed by certain contractors against local nationals, which may have undermined U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the report found.

Marcie Hascall Clark, an advocate for contract workers, said that contractor deaths and injuries reflected contractors’ importance in fighting the wars.

Labor Department figures show that more than 44,000 contractors have reported injuries since 2001, compared to about 40,000 U.S. troops. The figures are not entirely comparable, since contractor injuries include minor workplace injuries.

“I don’t think most contractors expect to be treated as nobly as our soldiers, but they don’t expect to be forgotten, either,” said Hascall Clark, who runs a group called American Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I think there should definitely be some recognition of what they do.”

Andrew Corsini

Sep. 23, 2010, 12:20 p.m.

How does one get killed cleaning a toilet?

whores & mercenaries don’t count. live by the dollar, die by the dollar.

I think should recognize them,,,, for the war
criminals that they are. We should also celebrate
each time one of them gets turned into a pile of
steaming catfood by the side of the road.

norman astrin

Sep. 23, 2010, 1:16 p.m.

The use of contractors hides the true cost of waging war. The contractors while being paid more are not compensated for injuries and may be non-nationals who are sent back to their place of origin. Reinstitute the draft so that we may know that our children are truly at risk when some fool declares a ‘police action’ since no wars have been declared for decades and we have shed blood and treasure in attempts to keep the world safe for corporacracy.

Rudy Jose Pons

Sep. 23, 2010, 1:39 p.m.

I was a contractor in Iraq for four years. Picked up some serious skills.

Now I go around the USA whacking people like Fred54. Frankly, I would do Fred54 for FREE!!

The below ones:
Do not rub salt on other people’s wound please

Ya know, that’s just real tough that these mercenary/war profiteers are dying at a faster pace than the military personnel, but do any of us really care?

I’d give them some recognition but I already had a bowel movement this morning.


“The use of contractors hides the true cost of waging war.”

you misspelled the word profit.

Rudy Jose Pons

Sep. 23, 2010, 1:46 p.m.

I was getting 250K a year and I accepted the risks.

Ralph, give me your contact information so we can speak in person about the last bowel movement you will ever take.

Andrew: You get killed cleaning toilets by mortar rounds, which were routinely fired at the bases where contractors worked - mostly those from Third World countries. Kitchen workers, bus drivers and trash haulers, all under U.S. contract, most from developing countries, have been killed on bases.

Another note to throw in. While plenty of contractors made big money, the workers from places like India, Sri Lanka, etc. made much less. The average salary of about a dozen Nepalese slaughtered in west Anbar a few years back was $200 a month. Not exactly mercenary money.

While the privatization of our military is a dangerous road to go down (instability is something to combat, not commodify) I feel for the people killed while doing their jobs. Just as a rational anti-war person blames the politicians who wage the wars and not the soldiers who fight them, we cannot blame the people working for contractors for the misdeeds of the companies who hire them.

Our nation needs to learn that not everything should be for-profit. Privatizing war, prisons, schools, health and other essential industries is allowing a small portion of people to profit off the needs and suffering of the majority.

It would be helpful if T. Christian Miller would break down who exactly the 200,000 contractors are, e.g. American Citizens, TCNs, Local Nationals, etc. Additionally, it would be helpful to know the breakdown in profession/services that these 200k individuals are working in.

I read the article as if there are nearly a quarter of a million contractors out in war zones making money of the military and government when that is not the case. A large portion of contractors are local nationals or third country nationals (TCNs) who are paid well below the poverty level.

Contractors can be anyone from armed security details to carpenters to bull-dozer drivers. We need to get our people home. I am losing sympthy for Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bananastan.

Were those the ones who were over paid by our tax dollars?

While I don’t cheer for anyone to be killed, I can’t be sympathetic for people who gouged us.

Hey Rudy Jose Pons I was a truck driver in Iraq for fifteen months attached to a cav unit 1/4 Cavalry for fifteen months where I was blown out of a truck in a car bombing near Samara. I watched $%*& like you make 250,000 dollars a year while I pulled in 20,000 with all my combat pay as a pfc in 2004. All while most of you SCABS did LESS DANGEROUS jobs than us truck drivers rolling with cold war era trucks and gear with no armor. I will fight for the rest of my life to make sure that $%#& like you never get any more government benefits other than that 250,000 UNLESS you served in uniform and fought in combat. You aren’t serving your country you are serving yourself so take your skills and your 250,000 $ and stick them up your %$&. Also know that most soldiers and Marines feel the exact same way about you.      Josh   1st Infantry Division 1st squadron fourth US Cavalry

Bill’s question is not easy to answer. A May 2010 census of contractors in the field from the Defense Dept is available as a Word document here:

You’ll see that, of 207,000 contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 20% are Americans, 35% are so-called third country nationals, and about 45% are local Iraqis and Afghans.

The document goes on to say that about 65% of contractors are involved in base support. The next biggest group is private security, about 12%, then translators at 8%.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the census says that there are only 27,000 armed security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan—the majority local nationals.

So while armed American private security guards have attracted most attention, they are actually not the largest group of contract workers.

The big caveat here: this census has been criticized as being incomplete. However, it is the best that the Defense Dept. can offer at this time.

This is an interesting article, especially because of the way people responded to it. 
To the people complaining about how contractors make so much money, my dad is currently in Afghanistan working as a concrete finisher. While he does make a larger annual salary than he would here doing the same thing, he also works 12 hours a day/ 7 days a week.  He said his pay averages out to around $16/hr.
I agree with Bill, it would be interesting to see the breakdown among the contractors.

An Administration that fails to report “the truth and all but the truth” is lying. It is deception. Silence is a lie.

We must remember that contractors from the U.S. are more costly than the pay an American soldier receives. This of course does not diminish their loss of life it merely is meant to say that it makes the war more costly in both blood shed and depletion of our Treasury.

Good reporting.

Hey Shayna you still haven’t answered why your dad makes more than the people who are in just as much danger and often times more.

Barry Schmittou

Sep. 23, 2010, 4:12 p.m.

The contractor’s are doing a job that our government has decided is necessary and those who are killed should not be insulted like some people have done on this blog. ( I am not a contractor and am not related to any)

The fact that more contractor’s have died than soldiers should shine even more light on AIG and CNA’s heinous practices of delaying and/or denying insurance benefits for death and injury.

The fact that more contractor’s have died than soldiers should also shine more light on the U.S. Government’s failure to stop the insurance companies from blatantly violating the law !!

I’ll try to answer some of the questions. In the most recent contractor census by the DOD in May 2010, there were 207,000 contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of those, about 20% were Americans, 35% were so-called TCNs, or third country nationals, and 45% were local Afghans and Iraqis.

Of 207,000, the vast majority, about 65% or so, were employed in base support—cooking, cleaning, etc. Another 12% were in private security. About 8% were translators.

There were about 25,000 private security contractors. The majority are actually armed local nationals. So the six-figure income, armed American private security contractor may dominate the imagination, but not the contract workforce.

As with almost any job, the employee makes what the employer deems a reasonable wage.  I’m not disagreeing that it seems ironic for (American) contractors get paid more than some soldiers.
However, most are not in any more control of their salary than soldiers are of theirs.

For someone to read this article and their first reaction is to mock the death of someone who died while performing their job is heartbreaking. Just because you disagree with the circumstances surrounding their life/death doesn’t mean you should degrade their memory.

Marcie Hascall Clark

Sep. 23, 2010, 7:57 p.m.

The real war profiteers, some of the major corporations (and some smaller ones too) that our government hands these contracts too with so little oversight, are unfortunately, not the “contractors” that are dying or being critically injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As for the soldiers not being paid as much as their counterparts….
The majority of the ex pat private military contractors and private security guards are military veterans, many of them having served in Vietnam and/or Gulf War 1, Bosnia, Kosovo and even Iraq or Afghanistan before returning as a contractors.

Most of them have paid their dues.

I think the whole Professional Army/Contractors scene has been allowed to grow entirely without Congressional oversight. It’s a bad situation. The contractors operate outside of either UCMJ or U. S. law. This is wrong, and Congress should intervene.

Also, I distrust the whole set-up. The professional army was created out of the ashes of Viet Nam, because citizen-soldiers who were being killed by ambitious officers killed their officers. I don’t like the draft, and never have. But it keeps the politicians sane.

The Roman Empire lasted until it’s citizens were so rich and happy that no Roman would serve in the army. So they began hiring mercenaries, the celtic tribes who eventually overthrew the entire empire.

War is a racket. The majority of the really devastating IED’s we encountered in 2004 were 155mm artillery rounds that said made in the USA right on the side. Most of the people that were killed in my unit were from steel forged by US hands. I get sick to my stomach. I apologize for being cold about things but I saw horrible things happen to very innocent people and I believe that it would never have happened if we hadnt invaded Iraq. At best it was a very stupid strategic error that will we will feel for the remainder of our lifetimes. It is disgraceful and so is the fact that Bush and Obama now have used contractors to cover up the true cost of the war so the average american can sit at home with his or her thumb up their ass watching snookie and stuffing their faces.

Look, dummies.  Nobody minds a bit if more contractors got killed than soldiers in this war or any other.  They went their for the money, not because they cared about protecting America.  Especially those involved in security work like the infamous Blackwater Group, now renamed, were simply mercenary thug killers.  The more of them who die the better.

@Andrew :  The word “Contractor” is misleading.  They don’t just clean toilets and cook.  There’s also “private security” personnel which in the none politically correct term are “mercenaries”.

@Rudy & Norman :
My problem with this whole deal is not that “contractors” die.  You goto war, you die.  My problem is that if these men and women all goto the same war, for the same country.  But the mercenaries gets paid better because they’re choosing to take the risk for $.  While the soldiers gets paid less but dies for the “honor”. Thats kinda frogged up. 

If we have more mercenaries than soldiers on the ground… what does that say about the basic principles of warfare and military service?

This is not just an issue of transparency, policy, spending, and PR.

We have a fundamental moral dilemma here.

Hey Josh,
i am over here in Iraq and Afghan as a contractor.  I have worked here to support the military and support the LN population with basic life services.  About 80% or so of the contractors i work with are prior service military and have done their time already.  We are not “hired guns” or mercineries….

mike in Seattle

Sep. 24, 2010, 7:19 a.m.

You can thank Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney for this travesty.

Andrew Corsini

Sep. 24, 2010, 9:14 a.m.

As I see it the answer to my question, i.e., how does one get killed while cleaning a toilet, is by falling victim to an unfettered free enterprise system that allows exploitation of workers, who are generally poor and/or uneducated, with no regulatory or union protection.

Zi: There’s an interesting free-market argument to be made that it’s not that contractors are paid too much, it’s that soldiers are paid too little.

When you monopolize something, as the state does with military service, you control the rates of pay, the argument goes. When you open the market up, as you do with private security guards, pay floats to what the market will bear.

One way to look at the salaries for private security contractors, then, is that they reflect the true cost to send a guy into a war zone. That’s just the money you have to pay a person to take the job of fighting a war in a dangerous place.

The parallels don’t hold up exactly, I don’t think, but it’s an interesting argument.

RK I don’t care what you do. I helped with “local Nationals” life services also. The point is how is it prudent to spend millions of dollars training soldiers airmen and Marines if they just scab out after a few years of “Doing their time”? I had a lot of friends go to contracting after they got out and I thought about it myself. I just simply hate those places so much and our reasons for being there I would rather live under a $#%&*& bridge than be a part of it. Soldiers work just as hard if not harder than most contractors. Shayna was saying how her dad had to work 16 hour days well boo hoo. We got an average of 4 hours of sleep a day hauling tanks from one end of Iraq to the other. Why the #%$& are we building schools in Afghanistan and firing teachers here? Why is Shayna’s dad laying concrete in Iraq when 1 in 7 people in the US is below the poverty line? Have we all gone mad? You are just a scab buddy. Soldiers die for honor and you die for money. Try doing some “life services” in a project in one of our inner-cities and then come talk to me.

Andrew Corsini

Sep. 24, 2010, 10:36 a.m.

It isn’t a question of salary although I am sure there would be a lot to say in this regard. For example, it would be interesting to compare not only differences between contractor and soldier pay but also between American, third world, and local contractor pay.

In fact, my point is that a system with basic worker protection would logically not allow civilians (regardless of nationality) to be exposed to working conditions involving unmitigated and unmitigatable hazards such as those encountered in a war zone.

Furthermore the use of so-called “private contractors” in such a workplace environment implies an unacceptable level of submission to hierarchy.

By enrolling in the armed services, soldiers, by definition, accept the mindlessness associated with “do-or-die” discipline.  Workers, even those employed directly or indirectly by the government, retain their inalienable rights that no company should not be able to force them to waiver.

Another good question Andrew.

In fact, the Dept. of Labor keeps track of contractor deaths as part of what is, in essence, a workers compensation program called the Defense Base Act (Check out the series we did called “Disposable Army”).

By combing through legal cases in that system, you can get a rough idea of salaries paid for different jobs. Very roughly, security contractors made 180K a year on average; support workers on average about 85K. And translators around 12K a year.

Wow, surprising… but not really. This stands as a firm argument that war zones are no place for contractors. Quickly, these assets turn into whores and profiteers that prolong the conflict for the purpose of employment and self preservation.

During my time in Iraq I observed contractors intentionally dragging their feet and making processes more difficult than necessary just so they wouldn’t be sent home and have to go back to working at McDonalds.

The goal of every Soldier should be to accomplish their mission with success and honor so that they can tend their fields and spend time with their families - not wage war for the sake of waging war - and especially not for profit.

I wonder what the ethos/motto for a government contractor would be?

Andrew Corsini

Sep. 24, 2010, 11:03 a.m.

Christian. Averages don’t address the question of discrepancies according to nationality. This would be more pertinent to my point involving worker exploitation. There does not seem to be much concern for such matters at any level.

well i do have something to say about this Contractors
I am one and to be honest i do not make anymore than i did in States the only thing i gained is the tax break i get
I am doing this cause i have Family and Friends that need the help here

I came here to drive a truck 12 hours a day 7 days a week at appx 18 dollars and hour
In 04-08 we worked 18 hours a day 7 days a week and we only got straight time
there was and is not any time and a half
we Load and unload our trucks
i have been here 6 years
I go out with the troops to bring them food water Fuel Ammo and any other supplies they need
those i work with that are contractors are UNARMED with a small amount of military escorts
we are not paid as some are
we do not do this for the money
in a 9 month span i watched 19 contractors die
DBL that hurt and have watch Family and Friends that were service members also hurt and killed

when we go out the wire we are together doing what we need to do for OUR MIL to make thier job easier
so they can focus on what they need to do
Makenzie Convoy
you will reach several diff videos Learn something
you watch that Video I knew the 4 that were killed on that convoy

some are getting more than enough pay
some are not getting enough
and those of us that are truck drivers do not get anything like what is said we get benefits wise when we come home there is no help we have PTSD we have med problems from getting hurt when workers comp quits that is it there is no unemployment no medical that helps after
there is no help when we come home we have to do it all alone
then people start trashing what they hear not what the truth is

Do research before you trash us

I think the draft issue should be brought up. Read Heinliens SF Starship Troopers (the movie Is no help) where he argues for mandatory service for all citizens of the state. It may not be military but a two year service of doing something for the community. It would perhaps be an aid in involving people in politics and an understanding that a war should be declared by congress and should not be a quick trigger response by the executive branch. If the only tool we have is a hammer, then the only response will be to whack.

Andrew Corsini

Sep. 24, 2010, 1:42 p.m.

Norman, I also think that the draft issue has great bearing on the discussion at hand.

i make a little more than i did in the US doing the same thing i am doing here. i deeply appreciate all the sacrifice and effort the military put forth, but i take exception to some of the things that have been said.  I have seen many contractors that are over here not working hard and i have seen likewise with the military.  I have a technical background and was hired because of having or 20 years of technical experience that is needed by the military but is not available thru the military.  The military hires based on their needs. Although hired to be technical, i have been placed in areas where i carried a weapon with no military support for PSD other than fellow contractors and TCN private security details.  I signed up for it and i knew what i was getting into.  i think basically saying that people dont care what happens to contractors is unjustified.  If there were not contractors here then there would have to be more military folks here doing the job as required by our government. 
It seems to me Josh, that your issues are really with what the government is not doing that you think they should be doing for their troops.  I don’t understand why you would resent people going overseas to feed their family and take the place of members of the military that probably don’t want to be over here anyway.  I don’t necessarily agree with the fight over here but if my country goes i will support it and our troops, I am an American first.

@RK :  There’s no “resentment” towards contractors.  Soldiers sign up for honor or whatever lofty goals… but most of them are just trying to feed a family too.  So on the individual level.  No, there’s not much of a difference.  The question is this…

My brother wanted to join the army when he was 18.  But he was not born and raised American like I was.  He was born and raised in Asia by my Asian family and still can’t figure out his own identity after being naturalized as an American.  So I asked him “Why do you want to join?... Which army are you going to join?”
And he said “I think I have the talent to be a very successful soldier… and I don’t care which army to join… maybe the US since they’re better.”

I was about to puke myself.

So I told him.  Yes, you do have the talent to be a successful soldier, even officer.  But you can’t join until you can say with confidence that you’re joining because you believe in something that will justify all the difficult choices you might have to make.  You also can’t join until you decide which country you are loyal to.

He never joined and now devotes his time to anthropology and archaeology.  Studying human civilization and how we got to this point.  Right now.

My point is.  It was easy for us to say to military servicemen, even if we’re anti-war hippies or extreme left-wingers that “Hey man… thank you.  I respect your decision and service.”

And there was a time when contractors only did technical jobs or services jobs.  Right now, we have massive proportions of “security contractors” who are performing operations that needs the ethical and ideological “justification” that only being a military serviceman can provide. 

Maybe it is a personal choice.  But its still a moral dilemma.  As a regular civilian and flag waving (though capable of introspection) patriot… how do I know if a war is just when its so blatantly 50%+ “privatized”? 

How does our traditional form of checks and balance fit into this new picture?

@Christina / Christian Miller / RK :

Wow… to be perfectly honest.  I think my comments were simply based on conjecture and emotions and I am so grateful you guys gave me such truthful and sincere answers.  I really (insert curse) learned something.

You’re RIGHT!  I’m upset because our men are paid too little.  But I think it is not the salary… but how they’re looked after during & post-tours.

My friend told me that out of all the money we paid contractors (companies)  to feed the troops.  By the time sub-sub-sub-sub-sub contractors got done with it… and the appropriate people took their cuts.  The guys were left with a soggy meal and watered down cool-aid that they still had to pay $30 out of pocket for.  And didn’t have enough clean socks so he developed these horrible rashes on his feet.  Maybe he exaggerated a little… but I believe there’s truth in it.

We all wave our flags so passionately… but the result is that nobody is really streamlining or watch-dogging whats falling through the cracks.

I’m a project manager by trade.  And its all about cost/benefit and efficiency.  And I would ask… couldn’t we have provided our troops and even “contractors” better care given the astronomical amount of funds that were thrown around over a decade?

Couldn’t part of those funds have been used to expand and fortify the V.A. and how our guys/girls are taken care of AFTER they come home?

My condolences to everyone who’s lost someone… and respect to those who have suffered through the war for whatever reason or pay grade.

Zi, i am a technical manager by trade.  it amazes me how much money we waste over here. I have seen the governement ask for personnel that they dont need for the task at hand.  I am currently on a project where when i arrived, the first thing i did was figure out we were over staffed and decrease our contract to the government by about 10%.

i am in the position where purchasing by civilian and military has to have an approval by me to get funded.  On a regular basis, i have requests for items such as one i denied the other day “Barstools, swivel, padded (4)”. my response was simple “Not mission essential in a war zone”.  I believe this kind of behavior has happened in the past because the govt pays for it, not the individual who wants it.

Finally, some good news ! Mercenaries deserve to die and be injured…and that is exactly what these scum are…war profiteering mercenaries who make money off the blood and suffering of others. May they all be killed.

I love the hypocrisy that circles around this, most people who oppose contractors fighting in this war also oppose the war itself, stating that they feel that this war is a product of personal and financial agendas, a lie to the American people and a vehicle for power and greed. I agree. With that in mind, where is the honor? Do you rather 20 year old soldiers with little to no experience in a war zone, who joined the military because they had few options and thought they might actually get a college degree out of it, be the ones to lose their lives…or someone who understood the risks and was paid to take them. Mercenaries or just honest? This is a war for money, why should only the top tier make it.

Re:  rapidly expanding “security” businesses.  Clearly everyone has missed the point.  These mushrooms (fullashit and live in the dark) were trained by the SAME MOPES THAT TRAINED THE BUSH ARMED (forces?) and these “troops” are the most poorly trained feces, I mean forces in US history.  This begs the question of WHY does anyone think because they dress like ninjas now, and are paid five times the money to fuck up now as they were paid as fuckups on active duty!  These are NOT security specialists.  On of the first clues is they advertise, where as mercenaries can only be reached via clandestine means.  They have failed expensively on a DAILY basis.  They aren’t worth the powder that it would take to blow them to hell.  American’s fall for another group of idiots.

As a twice wounded combat veteran of Vietnam I frankly don’t care if every “contractor” in either Iraq or Afghanistan is killed. They are nothing but mercanaries in it for the money and outside of the American tradition of warfare. They cheapen us as a nation and disgrace us as a people.

the first thing to making a good soldier is to pick from the “creme of the crop.”  You train the hell out of them by people EXPERT IN THE BUSINESS OF WARFARE FOR THE TYPE OF ENVIRONMENT THEY’RE GOING TO BE IN!!!  Then, you pay them well.  Give them equipment that works, and works well for them, not some pathetic corporations profits.  CLOSE ALL MONEY DOORS TO CONGRESS.  OVERRULE ROBERTS OPEN DOOR POLICY TO CONGRESSIONAL BRIBERY!!!  Make it a crime with certain prison time for even listening to a lobbyist.  medals and ribbons and badges are nice, but they’re not worth a life, and who wants to luck like Dave Pataeus, the “walking Christmas Tree.”  Sadly, the catastrophe the US created in the Middle East could have been seen coming a mile away.  The longest hiatus between wars since WWI.  No REAL combat troops to train soldiers.  An unelected deserter during wartime in the white house.  In other words a green training cadre.  A horribly inexperienced untrained officer corps.  Then throw pretty little girls into this odeiferous caldron, and you have a disaster of galaxian proportions.  Then you top it all off with these “hollywood” four stars running around with half their weight hanging with decorations, now using mudflaps too.  BOTH WARS ARE LOST AT THE EXPENSE OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ARAB LIVES, AND THE POTENTIAL OF MORE IF ISRAEL DECIDES TO BOMB IRAN!!!  Time for the US to drag it’s pasty ass home and do a better job.  Though with the economy as it presently is, what will America do with all these people It SCREWED, MANY TO DEATH!  VA will be crushed like a cigarette butt.  The republicans will be anxious at any price to get away from this, THEIR failure, and back to stealing from the people who don’t know better.


Sep. 25, 2010, 4 p.m.

I received an email from another Soldier from the Days of Vietnam, by the way, which lasted from 1954-1975, who like me seems to believe that war is the very epitome of insanity.  we two went to war, and he was wound twice for a government that didn’t give a shit.  War is a hateful activity.  Someday, mankind will outgrow the need for soldiers.  Not any time soon in America which supports war crimes as long as America commits them.  Anyone who enjoys war should be shot graveyard dead for untreatable insanity of the mindless, dangerous sort.  “mercenaries are lower than whale shit.  And that’s on the bottom of the sea.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Disposable Army

Disposable Army: Civilian Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

War contractors return home with the same scars as soldiers, but without the support.

The Story So Far

Civilian contractors have been an indispensable part of the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they have returned home without the support available for troops in uniform.

Tens of thousands of civilians have worked in the two battle zones, delivering fuel, protecting diplomats and translating for troops, among other jobs.

More »

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